Japanese privet is widely dispersed throughout the southeast and the midwest, including in North Carolina. It is most common in moist forests but it also tolerates drier conditions in the upland. Wildlife, especially birds, are most responsible for seed dispersal.
Japanese privet is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 20’. Glossy leaves (2 – 3” long) are elliptical and oppositely arranged on the stem. Small white, fragrant flower clusters bloom in midsummer. Fruits are blue to black, small, and oval-shaped. They ripen in the fall.
Fact Sheet: Japanese Privet
Photo credits: Rebekah D. Wallace, Bugwood.org